Graduation Archetypes


As the year comes to a close, excitement surrounding graduation arises. As seniors are itching to be done with high school, everyone else yearns for their own graduation. The ceremony itself boasts a high attendance, and through it all, several of the same archetypes are in the audience each year.

First and foremost, we have the notorious Country Club Parents. These moms and dads only wear sweaters, ever. Like ever. Usually spotted with a bag full of at least 14 identical cable-knits (acquired from their golf/tennis/croquet outfits), these eager beavers have mastered the art of saving the entire front row at graduation. They can be heard shouting phrases such as, “That’s my girl!” and “You’re number one, honey!” and “This is the moment we’ve worked for!” Even worse, this middle-aged crew can be found singing along with the Madrigals’ National Anthem. Like, please, parents, no one wants to hear your Billy Joel rendition of a school choir’s song. Literally no one.

Secondly, we have the Intensely Proud Family. This kind of group comes in a herd and can be heard from approximately 13 miles away. Typically seated toward the front (but behind the Country Club Parents of course), IPFs come wielding airhorns that screech like cats at the peak of their mating cycle. They hold up billboard-sized posters proudly displaying embarrassing childhood pictures of their graduate on them, some of which feature nudity and are borderline NSFW. On top of all this, IPFs have strangely clever cheers that must have been pre-planned. They get so invested in their chants that you would almost expect them to pound their chests like gorillas.

Next, we have No-Plans Stan. This is the random, 50-year-old man seen floating around the graduation ceremony. He has no ties to anyone at the school, let alone the graduating class. Stan can be seen crying during the grad speeches, reliving his high school memories at the back of the field, and creeping in the back of graduation photos. If Stan tries to embrace you, just let him; he really needs a friend.

Finally, of course, are the Obnoxious Non-Seniors. These freshmen, sophomores, and juniors all suffer from a severe case of FOMO, or Fear Of Missing Out. They arrive in mobs of at least seven people, and they typically come brandishing massive cardboard cutouts of their graduating friends’ heads. Typically sporting crew socks, Obnoxious Non-Seniors scream out trendy sayings like “YASSS, SLAY” and “YOU ARE FIRE” and “WERK THAT GOWN!”

If you see any of these people at graduation this year, be kind. Jokes aside, know that they are just trying to be supportive of their friends or relatives, and let them revel in their pride. But, above all, remember to greet No-Plans Stan. He lives for that kind of thing.

**this article was previously published in the May edition of The Oracle**